Wicked is the Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch of the West's point of view. Author Gregory Maguire asks the question, was the Wicked Witch of the West evil? Is anyone evil? Is anyone a saint?
At Elphaba's (the Wicked Witch of the West) birth, her father makes a pronouncement regarding his newborn daughter...
"Heaven is not improved by it... and heaven does not approve." (p. 23)
Because she is "abnormal", those who attend her birth consider killing Elphaba, but they quickly change their minds when she bites the finger off one of them.
Because her parents hardly ever touch her, Elphaba tries to avoid being touched. She is called "horrid" and "demon", by those who should love her.
Elphaba's mother describes one and half year old Elphaba as taking 'no delight in the world' (p. 33). Yet, how can she? How can she when her mother tells her things like..."Shall we go walk by the edge of the lake today and maybe you'll drown?" (p. 33) Has Elphaba been treated with love? Does she know love?
What is evil? Where does it come from? How is it born?
The only fault I can find with this book is the weak transitions between one chapter and the next. This left me guessing as to which character I was following. But on the whole it is an intriguing story, cleverly told.
More: The author (Gregory Macguire) talks about his book (Wicked) (a YouTube video)
Next post: To celebrate Halloween, I've studied its origins. I'll share that post next week.
Sharing my author journey...
What do you do if the words just aren't coming?